I realized about half way through reading The Missing that Jane Casey is the first, and only, female Irish author I've read. I'm not sure what specifically made me notice that, but I do remember thinking how different the book was from the male Irish authors I typically read. Honestly though, I'm not sure the difference really had to do with gender, just a difference in how the author writes and sees the direction of the story, (except maybe the added bit of romance, that does seem to be more of a female story plot).
The Missing follows the story of Sarah Finch as we go back and forth between the time she was a young child and her brother mysteriously disappears, and when she is an adult and finds one of her students bodies on a wooded path. Back in 1992, Sarah was 9 years old and laying on a blanket in the grass when her older brother left the house to go visit a friend. He never returned. Throughout the coming years it tore her family apart and her mom seemed to never forgive her for not telling the secrets she was convinced her daughter knew. In the present day, Sarah is a teacher at a posh all girls school where things aren't always as they seem. When a student disappears, just as mysteriously as her brother, she, along with the police are convinced the cases are connected and Sarah begins to try to find the one responsible.
The story is easy to read, and I enjoyed the past mixing in with the present, but at times I thought it was a bit unrealistic. The characters just didn't quite seem real to me and I often thought the things they did didn't quite match up with the character. Regardless, accepting the story and characters as they were, it was a nice bit of difference from the Irish noir crime I tend to read and I am curious as where the next book, The Burning will take us.